Besieged - Violence Beyond All Reason - (8.5/10)
Published on August 5, 2022
So there’s one distinct truth I can lay down about Violence Beyond All Reason before we get any further into the review. Nine years between full lengths don’t equate to any ring rust for the Canadian wolverines in any way shape or form. Nine years on, Besieged will still take your face off and launch it out an airlock. And you’ll enjoy it. Violence picks up exactly where Victims Beyond All Help left off (and by the way if the band are reading, I love the title callback), that is with you lying in euphoria with a warpspeed thrash tiremark across your grinning thrasher faces.
For those new to the Besieged experience, let me quickly summarise. Beseiged play absolutely absurdly fast yet deeply meaty and satisfying sounding thrash. There’s melody, there’s huge freaking riffs, there’s excellently delivered breathless thrash barks, effectively plenty of variety for anyone who’s a scholar of ‘da thrash’. But what sets them apart is that all this musical intelligence and creativity and songwriting is developed and delivered at a speed that will make you feel like a Simpsons character ought to explain it via ‘judging by the sound of your husband’s cowardly screams…’. Even early Kreator look at Besieged and go ‘dang those guys are fast’. Hell by the end of Pleasure to Kill, there’s only ten minutes of Besieged’s entire discography left to go.
This speed will probably be a bit much for some. Nine years has had me see the odd review of Victims crop up here and there, and where people aren’t feeling it, it’s generally that ‘all I saw was a blur then I was lying on the floor in the next county over being questioned by police’. To those in that ‘there isn’t enough Mountain Dew in the world for me to keep up with this, I’m gassed after Terrible Certainty man!’ camp, I will say this. Faster than a greased weasel Besieged definitely are, but a one-trick-pony they aren’t. What staggers me constantly about this band is mainly how satisfyingly creative they are in their songwriting and riffcraft. It’s probably against the law in a few countries to play this fast and still be this memorable and entertaining. Normally playing this fast even for those in grindcore bands causes a lot of creativity to get jettisonned out the window just out of sheer necessity to keep everything flying at that speed. With Besieged that’s just plainly not the case. A quick listen to the brilliant opening of Paragons of Brutality or the ‘glues itself right inside your head’ genius of One World Coma confirms that.
This is a band with a high level musical core, not some insane comedy grindthrash act who huffed way too much glue and now can’t slow down in case the clowns catch up. Despite the ludicrous speed on display, everything is very sharply considered and placed in each tune. The sheer level of fury and the potentially horrifying degree of whiplash this sub-30 minute wonder could cause is definitely going to polarise listeners, but I am sure that just as many people will be in love after a spin as some might go ‘wow, compared to this, Reign in Blood sounds like Crowbar…’. Beseiged kick major thrash metal ass here, and it’s great to have them back.